When F.O. Stanley, but recently recovered from a bout of tuberculosis, purchased land on which to build a summer home, there was as yet no Town of Estes Park, the community to whose subsequent growth and development over nearly four decades he would commit both his time and resources. The Stanley House, like the nearby Stanley Hotel, which it preceded by some four years, stands as an enduring monument to a visionary individual who through ingenuity, courage, and persistence found ways to harness the emerging technological forces of the twentieth century to make those dreams a reality. “The Grand Old Man of Estes Park” they called him, and rightfully so. From his time until our own, the influence of F.O. Stanley continues to be felt throughout the Estes Valley.
It is for this reason that the efforts being made by Tom Shamburg and his associates to purchase and maintain the Stanley home at Rockside are so important. It is an architectural treasure that, like its neighbor to the west, Rocky Mountain National Park, whose creation F.O. Stanley did much to facilitate, deserves to be preserved for the use and enjoyment of future generations. The Stanley House is a gift from the past to both the present and the future. And no one would be more appreciative, or more supportive of these efforts, than Mr. Stanley himself.
This cannot happen, of course, without the full support, financially and otherwise, of the Estes Park community and those, and they number into the millions, whose lives have been similarly touched and enriched by the physical beauty of Estes Valley and the legacy of Freelan Oscar Stanley. Surely there can be no better or appropriate way to celebrate the Centennial of the Town of Estes Park as it pauses to celebrate the beginning of its second hundred years.
-James H. Pickering. Historian Laureate, Town of Estes Park
As a history re-enactor, I marvel at the Stanley Historic Home as an ideal setting to celebrate the amazing stories of its original occupants. To enter this home is to be drawn immediately into its charm. Securing this historic treasure as a public site would be an economic, educational, and cultural “win” for our community, as it would become a destination for locals and visitors of all ages.
When I enjoy festivals at our town’s Indoor Event Center, or relish the sounds of Celtic rock at Scottish Fest, or cheer the Rooftop Rodeo, I’m reminded that these joys are possible thanks to F.O. and Flora Stanley’s gift of 54 acres of meadowland to our residents. These annual events happen thanks to a place we call Stanley Park. Now it’s time to match F.O.’s philanthropy by acquiring the home ready to honor his inspiring story and legacy.
Let’s not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire the Stanley Home for our civic benefit.
-Kurtis Kelly, Estes Park History Portrayalist